Several schools in the Portland Water District service area and Sebago Lake Watershed participate in our TroutKids of Maine Program. Schools receive approximately 300 brook trout eggs around late January and monitor their development for four months as the eggs transition from egg to fry.
The Portland Water District works with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to obtain brook trout eggs for participating schools, and to secure permits to release the trout into local water bodies in the spring. Teachers travel to the Sebago Lake Ecology Center in Standish to pick up their classroom’s eggs. Special equipment is needed to support the trout throughout the winter, but many of the costs are one-time purchases; ongoing costs are not substantial. The Portland Water District serves as a technical advisor and helps educators with their tanks and chillers.
The Portland Water District works with many participating schools to coordinate field trips called “trout releases” throughout the month of May. Portland Water District educators and scientists are joined by local experts from other natural resource organizations to lead students through water quality monitoring, macroinvertebrate sampling, and a streamside assessment hike before students release their classroom’s trout. We are currently at capacity for field trips, but if you are interested in receiving trout eggs, tank assistance, our detailed manual, and conducting the field trip independently, please contact the education coordinator. We may also be able to provide short-term lessons about the brook trout life cycle and their reliance on healthy Maine water.
Hear from educators and students throughout their experience of raising brook trout in the classroom to releasable fry by following our blog.
The following schools currently participate in our TroutKids Program
Greely Middle School, Cumberland
Dora Small School, South Portland
Jordan Small Middle School, Raymond
Windham Middle School
Gorham Middle School
Mahoney Middle School, South Portland